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Day 7

Within 50 miles, we touched 4 states. The difference between 5 days to drive across Texas and 1 day in New England: 9 states, 1 day.

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Welcome to Maryland  

Welcome to Maryland  

Bad photo; trust me, it reads Welcome to Pennsylvania. 

Bad photo; trust me, it reads Welcome to Pennsylvania. 

New York border!!!! 

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No more spring; back to winter. I miss the colors in Virginia! 

No more spring; back to winter. I miss the colors in Virginia! 

Almost at Rein's Deli! 

Almost at Rein's Deli! 

Home sweet home; coffee at Cafe Kilim

Home sweet home; coffee at Cafe Kilim

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Day 6: Driving boredom

Another long day on the road home. 

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Does anyone know what these beautiful white flowering trees are called? They are everywhere on Route 81. 

Does anyone know what these beautiful white flowering trees are called? They are everywhere on Route 81. 

The forsythia are magnificent! 

The forsythia are magnificent! 

The engine and road noise is loud; the radio has static; no CD player.....so I'm reading the newspaper to Russell. 

The engine and road noise is loud; the radio has static; no CD player.....so I'm reading the newspaper to Russell. 

The Virginia I 81 rest areas are not RV friendly! 

The Virginia I 81 rest areas are not RV friendly! 

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We are on a "Spring Foilage" tour! 

We are on a "Spring Foilage" tour! 

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Take it Easy

We discovered a real tourist attraction on Rout 66 in Winslow Arizona. We have even attended an Eagles concert in Boston, years ago. 

Just standing on the corner chillin out. 

Just standing on the corner chillin out. 

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Heading Home

We traveled through 3 states yesterday: New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma. 

So long NM

So long NM

We crossed the Texas panhandle

We crossed the Texas panhandle

Miles and miles of Wind Farms all across the panhandle  

Miles and miles of Wind Farms all across the panhandle  

We spent the night in Clinton. Today we head to Oklahoma City and Memphis, TN. 

We spent the night in Clinton. Today we head to Oklahoma City and Memphis, TN. 

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On the Road again

We left the spring snow storm in Portsmouth and headed to Las Vegas. 

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Thank you to one of my Brownies from Little Harbour school in the late 70's; Leslie kept my car for two weeks! 

We are headed to Kingman to pick up the Winnebago. 

We are headed to Kingman to pick up the Winnebago. 

Leslie, Mark, and Avalon have a beautiful home in Vegas. 

Leslie, Mark, and Avalon have a beautiful home in Vegas. 

No time for a dip in the pool; we are heading south. 

No time for a dip in the pool; we are heading south. 

Thank you Anderson Ford; we picked up the RV and are back on the road! 

Thank you Anderson Ford; we picked up the RV and are back on the road! 

Approaching Flagstaff, AZ. Notice the ski trails in the distance.

Approaching Flagstaff, AZ. Notice the ski trails in the distance.

The road to Sedona; beautiful vistas; red rocks, interesting shops, and a 5 mile traffic backup.  

The road to Sedona; beautiful vistas; red rocks, interesting shops, and a 5 mile traffic backup.  

Spring break and everyone is going to Sedona. The city is surrounded by red rocks. The climate is moderate year round; it was in the low 70's today.

Spring break and everyone is going to Sedona. The city is surrounded by red rocks. The climate is moderate year round; it was in the low 70's today.

Arizona sycamore trees in our back yard tonight at Zane Grey Park, Camp Verde, Az. Verde Valley was recently named one of the Top 10 US travel destinations by "Lonely Planet".

Arizona sycamore trees in our back yard tonight at Zane Grey Park, Camp Verde, Az. Verde Valley was recently named one of the Top 10 US travel destinations by "Lonely Planet".

Its spring and the trees are green. 

Its spring and the trees are green. 

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Viva Las Vegas

The "old" part of town

The "old" part of town

Goin to a chapel, and we're gonna get married

Goin to a chapel, and we're gonna get married

I think you can still get an Elvis impersonator to marry you

I think you can still get an Elvis impersonator to marry you

The sign says it all

The sign says it all

The new Vegas

The new Vegas

We are not gamblers; but we walked through a few casinos

We are not gamblers; but we walked through a few casinos

Russ at the Luxor

Russ at the Luxor

Barb at the Luxor

Barb at the Luxor

Avalon and her painting; her mom was in my brownie troop and they live in Vegas. 

Avalon and her painting; her mom was in my brownie troop and they live in Vegas. 

Waiting to board the "red eye" to Boston! 

Waiting to board the "red eye" to Boston! 

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Travel Day

We left the Winnebago in Kingsman and drove to Las Vegas for our flight home. 

Rutherford's family restaurant Kingman, AZ; our breakfast on Route 66.

Rutherford's family restaurant Kingman, AZ; our breakfast on Route 66.

We drove on 66 for a brief time then headed north to Las Vegas

We drove on 66 for a brief time then headed north to Las Vegas

We made a quick turn when we saw this roadside sign! 

We made a quick turn when we saw this roadside sign! 

We had no idea that we were only 50 minutes from the Grand Canyon Skywalk! 

The Joshua tree Forrest was amazing

The Joshua tree Forrest was amazing

It was an unexpected beautiful scenic drive

It was an unexpected beautiful scenic drive

Russ near the edge; we walked the glass skywalk but they would not allow phones or cameras! It was very scary; but truly a once in a lifetime experience. 

Russ near the edge; we walked the glass skywalk but they would not allow phones or cameras! It was very scary; but truly a once in a lifetime experience. 

The Colorado River is seen as a brown line in the bottom of the canyon

The Colorado River is seen as a brown line in the bottom of the canyon

Barbara at the entrance to the Skywalk

Barbara at the entrance to the Skywalk

Tourists at the Grand Canyon

Tourists at the Grand Canyon

We passed the Hoover Dam outside of Las Vegas! 

We passed the Hoover Dam outside of Las Vegas! 

Can you imagine how difficult it must have been to build these towers on the rocks? 

Can you imagine how difficult it must have been to build these towers on the rocks? 

360 view of the canyon  

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Meeting friends on the road

Barb and Ray Madorian, Shaklee Master Coordinators invited us to their home in Scottsdale for a lovely dinner.

Barb and Ray Madorian, Shaklee Master Coordinators invited us to their home in Scottsdale for a lovely dinner.

Their southwest home is absolutely beautiful! 

Their southwest home is absolutely beautiful! 

Thanks to Facebook we were able to meet up with Barbara's childhood friends, from Kewanee, Il in Phoenix! Jim Currier was in my high school graduating class and his wife Jane was my childhood playmate. We all lived on Wilbur Street. 

Thanks to Facebook we were able to meet up with Barbara's childhood friends, from Kewanee, Il in Phoenix! Jim Currier was in my high school graduating class and his wife Jane was my childhood playmate. We all lived on Wilbur Street. 

Dinner with Ray Carter at the Horny Toad in Cave Creek. 

Dinner with Ray Carter at the Horny Toad in Cave Creek. 

Outside the Horny Toad in Cave Creek

Outside the Horny Toad in Cave Creek

New friends at Sara's raw vegan restaurant in Cave Creek. (Sara in the red)  

New friends at Sara's raw vegan restaurant in Cave Creek. (Sara in the red)  

We are the proud owners of two of Sara's raw vegan "un-cook"  books!

We are the proud owners of two of Sara's raw vegan "un-cook"  books!

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Shooting for the Gold

Our Portsmouth friend, Ray Carter, was a marksman on the 1984 Olympic team. Later he was a coach for the Olympic rifle team. Over the years he has continued to compete with SASS. We were fortunate to catch up with him at the 25th anniversary of "Winterrange" Cowboy shooting competitions this weekend in Cave Creek, Arizona. 

The Cowboys, Russ and Ray

The Cowboys, Russ and Ray

It's like being in the "old west", everyone dresses the part. They move their guns and amo with "carts". 

It's like being in the "old west", everyone dresses the part. They move their guns and amo with "carts". 

Many couples compete together.  

Many couples compete together.  

Ray was warming up before the competition on stage 1

Shooters tote their rifles, pistols, shot guns and amo from stage to stage with interesting and varied carts. 

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We thought this was amazing! Riding and shooting targets at the same time. 

The spectators  

The spectators  

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Saguaro: The Desert Giant

Yesterday we took the scenic drive through the Sonoran desert outside of Tuscon. We spent the day at the Tuscon Museum of the Desert and the Saguaro National park.  

The giant "armed" cactus, or Saguaro, is the symbol of the American southwest. They have a lifespan of 200 years and range in height from 18-75 feet. 

The giant "armed" cactus, or Saguaro, is the symbol of the American southwest. They have a lifespan of 200 years and range in height from 18-75 feet. 

The weather has been great! 80's during the day with a nice breeze and cold in the 40's at night. 

The weather has been great! 80's during the day with a nice breeze and cold in the 40's at night. 

We walked the trails through the museum of the desert

We walked the trails through the museum of the desert

There was only one roadrunner in the Aviary; however, they are running everywhere at our campsite tonight at Cave Creek! 

There was only one roadrunner in the Aviary; however, they are running everywhere at our campsite tonight at Cave Creek! 

Bees, butterflies, moths, hummingbirds, and lots of other species inhabit the desert museum. The only snakes that we saw were behind glass in the reptile pavilion. 

Bees, butterflies, moths, hummingbirds, and lots of other species inhabit the desert museum. The only snakes that we saw were behind glass in the reptile pavilion. 

Russell on the museum path.  Woodpeckers are everywhere! They poke holes in the cacti, sometimes knocking off an arm or a storm will blow one off creating a hole. The cacti will cork the wound with strong bark like scar tissue and create a cavity called a "boot". This hollow enclosed cavity becomes a shelter to desert wildlife. I was told that snakes will climb the cactus searching for something within the "boot" to eat.

Russell on the museum path.

Woodpeckers are everywhere! They poke holes in the cacti, sometimes knocking off an arm or a storm will blow one off creating a hole. The cacti will cork the wound with strong bark like scar tissue and create a cavity called a "boot". This hollow enclosed cavity becomes a shelter to desert wildlife. I was told that snakes will climb the cactus searching for something within the "boot" to eat.

This is our backyard for the next week! 

This is our backyard for the next week! 

Home sweet home! 

Home sweet home! 

Beautiful sunset tonight. 

Beautiful sunset tonight. 

The moon at sunrise

The moon at sunrise

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Biosphere 2

Biosphere 2 was built nearly 30 years ago to develop technologies for humans living in space and other worlds like Mars. Today it's mission is to help plan for Earth's (Bosphere 1), near future.  Four women and four men, known as biospherians lived from 1991 to 1993 sealed inside the ecosystem. We are very interested in this project because of Shaklee's participation in the project.

Today inside the amazing steel and glass structure, the size of three football fields, is an ocean, a desert, a Savannah,  and a rainforest. 

It is a giant enclosed scientific experiment. 

The site is owned and operated by the University of Arizona and is open daily for tours. 

Researchers and students are studying climate change and are focused on what is happening to Earth now not on a future in space. 

We were surprised to learn that the project was privately funded by Texas billionaire, Ed Bass. He invested almost $250 million to build and operate the structure and continues to annually cushion the $5 million annual operating expense with a $3 million annual contribution. 

We were surprised to learn that the project was privately funded by Texas billionaire, Ed Bass. He invested almost $250 million to build and operate the structure and continues to annually cushion the $5 million annual operating expense with a $3 million annual contribution. 

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We attended a lecture by Joost vanHaren, chief rainforest scientist. He is tracking "Where the Carbon goes." 

We attended a lecture by Joost vanHaren, chief rainforest scientist. He is tracking "Where the Carbon goes." 

The beginning of the tour

The beginning of the tour

Rainforest inside the Biosphere 2

Rainforest inside the Biosphere 2

The ocean

The ocean

The desert

The desert

We walked through an underground tunnell and a hatch "air lock" door into the lungs of the Biosphere. 

We walked through an underground tunnell and a hatch "air lock" door into the lungs of the Biosphere. 

The elevated "bladder" is not attached to anything. It raises and lowers according to the changes in air pressure inside the structure.  The basement is called the "technosphere". The weather is produced by technology.

The elevated "bladder" is not attached to anything. It raises and lowers according to the changes in air pressure inside the structure.  The basement is called the "technosphere". The weather is produced by technology.

"Model City" is the name of the sustainability study of how we use electricity and water. 

A living quarter for one of the biospherians

A living quarter for one of the biospherians

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The Town Too Tough To Die

Tombstone is a national historic landmark located in Cochese county, Arizona. It was one of the last wide-open frontier boom towns in the American old west. It was a major silver mining town but is best known for the gun fight at the OK Corral. The town reached its pinnacle of riches and then faded all within the span of eight years. Today it is a tourist town and the historic gun fight is re-enacted several times a day at several locations. If you remember your history or saw the movie you will remember that the Earp brothers: Virgil, Wyatt, and Morgan along with Doc Holliday had a feud that culminated in a "street brawl" with the "Cowboys" Billy Clanton, Tom & Frank McLaury.

View of Main Street today

View of Main Street today

Stage coaches travel the 5 block downtown

Stage coaches travel the 5 block downtown

"The wildest, wickedest, night spot in the west" 

"The wildest, wickedest, night spot in the west" 

Mercantile shopping....everything you might need and more. 

Mercantile shopping....everything you might need and more. 

Guns

Guns

Hats for every occasion

Hats for every occasion

Umbrellas  

Umbrellas  

Cowboy dusters

Cowboy dusters

Bling

Bling

For the boudoir

For the boudoir

The court house, built in 1882, was vacant from 1931 to 1955 and was re-developed as a museum in 1959.

The court house, built in 1882, was vacant from 1931 to 1955 and was re-developed as a museum in 1959.

The court house museum

The court house museum

Justice....a replica of the gallows where 7 men were hanged. 

Justice....a replica of the gallows where 7 men were hanged. 

Barb and Russ enjoying an 80 degree day in the sun. 

Barb and Russ enjoying an 80 degree day in the sun. 

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A Lazy Day

We decided to take it easy and spend another day in Anthony, Texas.  

Working on my blog this morning and talking with my Shaklee team on the phone. 

Working on my blog this morning and talking with my Shaklee team on the phone. 

This is what an average Southwestern home looks like; quite a contrast to New England! Love the paint job on the car.

This is what an average Southwestern home looks like; quite a contrast to New England! Love the paint job on the car.

An early mode of travel? 

An early mode of travel? 

A  view of the El Paso sprawl

A  view of the El Paso sprawl

We drove to Las Cruces to check out the area. 

We drove to Las Cruces to check out the area. 

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Spelunking

Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico with stalactites, stalagmites, and an incredible variety of other formations began over 500,000 years ago. It happened slowly, drip by drip. 

In the late 1800's. Young 16 year old cowboy, Jim White, discovered the main cave when he noticed thousands of bats rising up out of the ground at dusk. He entered the natural entrance on a rope with a lantern and the rest is history. Early on the cave was mined for guano (bat poop) as a natural fertilizer. 

In 1923 Carlsbad caverns was proclaimed a national monument. In 1930 it became a national park.  

After a 1995 National Geographic article the site was designated a World Heritage site with over 100 other caves spanning 146,766 acres. 

Cave scientists and experienced cave explorers have received permission to explore these other caves and their ecosystems. They are not open to the public. 

Ray Davis, an early photographer, accompanied Jim White into the cave. They entered by guano buckets! Today there is a paved walkway with railings. 

Ray Davis, an early photographer, accompanied Jim White into the cave. They entered by guano buckets! Today there is a paved walkway with railings. 

Barb and Russ outside the natural entrance to the cave. 

Barb and Russ outside the natural entrance to the cave. 

This amphitheater was built for tourists to sit and watch the Mexican free-tail bats emerge from the cave every evening at dusk in the summer months. The bats are vacationing in Mexico for the winter. Notice the black hole in the center; that is the natural entrance to the cave. 

This amphitheater was built for tourists to sit and watch the Mexican free-tail bats emerge from the cave every evening at dusk in the summer months. The bats are vacationing in Mexico for the winter. Notice the black hole in the center; that is the natural entrance to the cave. 

I took this photo from inside the entrance looking up toward the amphitheater. 

I took this photo from inside the entrance looking up toward the amphitheater. 

Lure of the unknown

Lure of the unknown

Stalactites

Stalactites

Billions and billions of drops later; a natural work of art

Billions and billions of drops later; a natural work of art

"The Whales Mouth" 

"The Whales Mouth" 

Approaching Guadalupe National park

Approaching Guadalupe National park

A record breaking day for us! 

A record breaking day for us! 

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A Special Day in El Paso

Marty Snortum and Nevena Christi shared their home with us and we discovered that we had a mutual friend who impacted both of our lives. I knew him as Barry, the hairdresser; and they knew him as Tyler, the cowboy. Marty did the photography for Tyler's cowboy boot book. I have an autographed copy! 

Marty & Nevena's home is an old movie theater. 

Marty & Nevena's home is an old movie theater. 

Marty's studio

Marty's studio

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The balcony is their theater. 

The balcony is their theater. 

Nevena did the mosaic tiled wall to match the mosaic on the concession counter

Nevena did the mosaic tiled wall to match the mosaic on the concession counter

One of several displays of Marty's tiki glass collection

One of several displays of Marty's tiki glass collection

He loves everything "tiki" 

He loves everything "tiki" 

Every room is an adventure

Every room is an adventure

Their back yard collection of vintage trailers. 

Each one is staged as a period classic! It was so much fun to tour them! 

Each one is staged as a period classic! It was so much fun to tour them! 

We would like to thank Nevena, Marty, and Trip for making this leg of our journey a feast for our souls.  

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El Paso del Norte del Rio

The area was founded by Franciscan friars in 1850 at an important mountain pass, and it became an agricultural producer. The city was incorporated in 1873 and today is a sprawling growing community with a population over 649,000. The Rio Grande River forms the international boundary. 

We camped at Hueco Tanks state park. For thousands of years, desert dwellers and travelers have used rainwater trapped in the natural rock basins, or "huecos" found in the rocky outcrops at this historic site. Today you can hike to the tanks of water and view the pictograph drawings. 

We camped at Hueco Tanks state park. For thousands of years, desert dwellers and travelers have used rainwater trapped in the natural rock basins, or "huecos" found in the rocky outcrops at this historic site. Today you can hike to the tanks of water and view the pictograph drawings. 

We were able to meet with our friend, business partner, and Shaklee Master Coordinator, Nevena Christi at her custom boot factory in El Paso. 

We were able to meet with our friend, business partner, and Shaklee Master Coordinator, Nevena Christi at her custom boot factory in El Paso. 

"Rocketbuster" boots are known world wide for their quality, craftsmanship, and individuality. 

"Rocketbuster" boots are known world wide for their quality, craftsmanship, and individuality. 

Nevena is a "collector", pictured are Roy Rodgers and Dale Evan's autographed boots. 

Nevena is a "collector", pictured are Roy Rodgers and Dale Evan's autographed boots. 

Gene Autry commissioned this pair and autographed them. 

Gene Autry commissioned this pair and autographed them. 

Just one of her many collections: toy cowboy guns. 

Just one of her many collections: toy cowboy guns. 

Nevena is an extremely talented artist; just give her your idea and she can transform them into a pair of custom boots. I was able to view drawings of wedding boots, dragon flies, and yes even snakes. 

A work in progress

A work in progress

A finished pair

A finished pair

All of the samples are in Nevena's size. She wears them to events and shows; this is her ingenious marketing plan.

All of the samples are in Nevena's size. She wears them to events and shows; this is her ingenious marketing plan.

One of her artists working on "under the sea" boots. Notice the bubbles

One of her artists working on "under the sea" boots. Notice the bubbles

Almost all of the artists in the factory are 3rd generation boot makers.

Almost all of the artists in the factory are 3rd generation boot makers.

This is a custom pair of "super bowl" boots that are on rush order to be worn at the game. The lady will be at the 50 yard line, so look for them.

This is a custom pair of "super bowl" boots that are on rush order to be worn at the game. The lady will be at the 50 yard line, so look for them.

Another view  

Another view  

This pair will be a gift for a WWII vet from his grandkids; his plane flew over Normandy.

This pair will be a gift for a WWII vet from his grandkids; his plane flew over Normandy.

Very precise craftsmanship  

Very precise craftsmanship  

"Day of the Dead" Mexican boots

"Day of the Dead" Mexican boots

One more pair of Lone Star cowboy boots

One more pair of Lone Star cowboy boots

Nevena recommended this "authentic", long established, family restaurant. We LOVED it! 

Nevena recommended this "authentic", long established, family restaurant. We LOVED it! 

Shaklee family: Elizabeth Shouty from Palm Beach was also in town.  

Shaklee family: Elizabeth Shouty from Palm Beach was also in town.  

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Continuing the Journey

Early this morning we left Seminole Canyon and headed west; our destination for tonight is Balmorhea State Park. 

Early this morning we left Seminole Canyon and headed west; our destination for tonight is Balmorhea State Park. 

The roadside scenery is nothing like New England! 

The roadside scenery is nothing like New England! 

Absolutely amazing! 

Absolutely amazing! 

My last roadside photo for today

My last roadside photo for today

City center in Marfa, Texas

City center in Marfa, Texas

Caleb owns the Maddog Cantina in Fort Davis, he surprised us with an unusually great lunch in a no frills cafe. He shared a lot of the local history and his story of how he ended up here when his car broke down. 

Caleb owns the Maddog Cantina in Fort Davis, he surprised us with an unusually great lunch in a no frills cafe. He shared a lot of the local history and his story of how he ended up here when his car broke down. 

We saw this carving on the porch of the court house in Fort Davis.  

We saw this carving on the porch of the court house in Fort Davis.  

A welcoming turtle in Balmorhea park. 

A welcoming turtle in Balmorhea park. 

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Seminole Canyon

Seminole Canyon received it's name in honor of the US Army's Seminole-Negro Indian scouts, garrisoned at Fort Clark. The scouts protected the West Texas frontier from maurading Apache and Comanche bands between 1872 and 1914. Known for their exceptional cunning and toughness, no scout was ever wounded or killed in combat, and four earned the prestigious Medal of Honor. 

Rugged limestone terrain and spectacular canyons. 

Rugged limestone terrain and spectacular canyons. 

We hiked with a tour guide two miles into a canyon

We hiked with a tour guide two miles into a canyon

The trail leading into the canyon

The trail leading into the canyon

The past inhabitants of the canyon left their mark in several ways, most notably through rock paintings called pictographs.  

The past inhabitants of the canyon left their mark in several ways, most notably through rock paintings called pictographs.  

The Fate Bell shelter contains Pecos River rock art dated 4,000 years old. 

The Fate Bell shelter contains Pecos River rock art dated 4,000 years old. 

Lower Pecos murals

Lower Pecos murals

A modern depiction of the art in the previous photo. 

A modern depiction of the art in the previous photo. 

The "Maker of Peace", by Bill Worrell

The "Maker of Peace", by Bill Worrell

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